OGDEN, Utah — The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report about a small plane crash that left four dead and impacted freeway traffic on July 26.
The crash occurred at approximately 12:40 p.m. on I-15 near Riverdale Rd. in Weber County.
The report said “visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.”
In other words, the weather was not a factor in the crash. Flight plans are suggested, but optional, in such conditions.
According to the report, aviation mechanics at Ogden-Hinckley Airport noticed the plane, a Beech A36TC, was flying at 100 feet above the ground at a point when it should have been 500 feet above the ground.
“Hey, I’m going down, zero-whiskey-bravo,” said the pilot, Layne Clarke, in communication with air traffic control.
The mechanics also noticed “the engine sound was underpowered and the tail of the airplane going up and down, as if the pilot was struggling to keep the airplane at altitude,” the report said.
Dashboard camera video from a car traveling in the area captured footage of the plane flying “wings level,” the report said.
“As it approached the center of the video frame, it entered a right turn and flew away, paralleling the street. Shortly after, the airplane entered a descending right banking turn until out of view,” the report said.
According to NTSB, the plane’s “first identified point of contact” was the outer edge of the northbound freeway, and it came to rest in the median, along the guardrail.
The debris field of the crash was 150 feet long and debris was scattered in both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-15, the report said.
The four victims were identified as 48-year-old Layne Clarke and 46-year-old Diana Clarke, a husband and wife from Taylor; and 45-year-old Perry Huffaker and 42-year-old Sarah Huffaker, a husband and wife from West Haven.
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